The PGA Tour heads slightly southwest, from the Jacksonville area to metro Tampa, for the 22nd edition of the Valspar Championship – the fourth and final stop on the annual Florida Swing.
Because it falls after the high-end PLAYERS Championship, the field at the acclaimed Innisbrook Resort includes just a single player ranked inside the OWGR’s top 10, Justin Thomas.
Co-headliners include Jordan Spieth, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, and Sam Burns, the two-time defending champion.
As we do each week, here’s a round up of information and historical data to get you prepped for the week ahead at the 2023 Valspar.
2023 Valspar Championship
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Dates: Mar. 16-19, 2023
Tour Debut: 2000
PGA TOUR Week: 20th (of 43)
Course: Innisbrook (Copperhead)
Where: Palm Harbor, Fla.
Distance: Par 71, 7209 yards
Architect: Larry Packard
Field: 144 players
Format: Stroke, 72-holes
Cut: 36 holes
Winning Share: $1,458,000
FedExCup Pts: 500
Trophy: Bronze Paint Brush/Golf Ball (Malcolm DeMille)
2022 Champion: Sam Burns
How to Follow the Valspar Championship
TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 2-6 p.m. (GOLF); Sat-Sun: 1-3 p.m. (GOLF), 3-6 p.m. (NBC)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thu-Fri: 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (ESPN+); Sat-Sun: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (ESPN+)
PGA TOUR RADIO: Thu-Fri: 12-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 1-6 p.m.
(PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)
Valspar Championship History
The name has had a number of changes, but the PGA Tour event contested on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort has been a regular part of the Tour schedule since its inception more than 20 years ago.
Founded in 2000 as the Tampa Bay Classic, the tournament was an alternate event for its first two editions, and slotted in the fall portion of the schedule.
In its debut, it was contested opposite the Presidents Cup (October 2000), and then the same week as the WGC-American Express Championship in September 2002. (The 2001 event was canceled following the September 11 attacks as it was set to be played Sep. 13-16.)
In 2003, it was given a promotion to full event status, and was scheduled ahead of the season-ending Tour Championship – this was before the launch of the FedExCup playoffs, and wrap-around schedule.
In 2007, the season which launched the FedExCup, the Valspar (then PODS Championship) was moved to March and inserted in the Florida Swing, a spot it has held down aside from two editions (2019 and 2021).
Valspar, an international manufacturer of paint and coatings, based out of Minneapolis, has been the title sponsor since 2014.
Past winners have included such names as Vijay Singh, Jordan Spieth, Charl Schwartzel, Luke Donald, and Jim Furyk. Two-time Valspar champions include K.J. Choi (2002, 2006), Retief Goosen (2003, 2009), Paul Casey (2018-19), and Sam Burns, the most recent back-to-back champ (2021, 2022).
History: Tournament Names
- Valspar Championship (2014-23)
- Tampa Bay Championship presented by Everbank (2013)
- Transitions Championship (2009-12)
- PODS Championship (2007-08)
- Chrysler Championship (2003-06)
- Tampa Bay Classic presented by Buick (2002)
- Tampa Bay Classic (2000-01)
History: Tournament Months
The tournament has been played in the month of:
- September (2002) Alternate WGC-Amex
- October (2000) Alternate Presidents Cup
- Late Oct (2003-06) Lead-in to TOUR Championship
- March (2007-19, 2022-23) Florida Swing
- April (2021)
History: Recent Winners
2022: Sam Burns (-17)*
2021: Sam Burns (-17)
2020: COVID (-19)
2019: Paul Casey (-8)
2018: Paul Casey (-10)
2017: Adam Hadwin (-8)
2016: Charl Schwartzel (-7)*
2015: Jordan Spieth (-10)*
2014: John Senden (-7)
2013: Kevin Streelman (-10)
2012: Luke Donald (-13)*
2011: Gary Woodland (-15)
* Won in a playoff.
History: Tournament Records
2 – Sam Burns (2021, 2022)
2 – Paul Casey (2018, 2019)
2 – Retief Goosen (2003, 2009)
2 – K.J. Choi (2002, 2006)
266 (-18) Vijay Singh (2004)
Valspar Defending Champion
Sam Burns shot a final-round 69 and then edged Davis Riley in a playoff to claim a repeat victory at the 2022 Valspar Championship.
Keyed by a hot putter, the 25-year-old LSU product finished his final day at Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course with one bogey against three birdies to reach 17-under par.
For his third career PGA Tour title, and second of the season, Burns earned $1,404,000 and 500 FedExCup points. He moved to No. 2 in points and 4th in money. He also picked up 52 Official World Golf Ranking points and cracked the top 10 for the first time in his career.
Final Top-5 Finishers
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Sam Burns -17 (-2)
2. Davis Riley -17 (+1)*
3. Justin Thomas -16 (-1)
3. Matthew NeSmith -16 (E)
5. Matt Fitzpatrick -14 (-3)
5. Brian Harman -14 (-3)
* Lost in a playoff.
The Course: Innisbrook’s Copperhead
One of four championship tracks at Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead is the host course for the tournament, annually checking in as one of the very toughest on the PGA Tour schedule.
The course features tree-lined plush fairways with elevation changes you normally don’t find in the Sunshine State. In fact, with its tall Pines and rolling terrain, the course has more of a Carolina feel than Florida. Its layout stretches some 7,200 yards for the tour pros.
12-time PGA Tour winner, and current NBC Golf Analyst, Paul Azinger, once said, “Copperhead is the best course we play on tour.”
Holes: 18 | Par: 71 | Yards: 7209 | Slope: 142 | Rating: 75.9
Valspar Championship Field
The field for the Valspar Championship this week includes four players ranked in the current top 10 in the Official Golf World Rankings, including Justin Thomas (No. 10), Matt Fitzpatrick (13), Jordan Spieth (14) and defending champion Sam Burns (15).
Other top-35 ranked stars include Keegan Bradley (22), the 2021 runner-up, Tommy Fleetwood (27), Brian Harman (28) and Justin Rose (32).
In addition to Burns, former Valspar winners in the field include Gary Woodland (2011), Luke Donald (2012), Kevin Streelman (2013), Spieth (2015) and Adam Hadwin (2017).
Other marquee names include: Joel Dahmen, Kevin Kisner and Webb Simpson, among others.
Odds to Win
1. Justin Thomas (10-1)
2. Jordan Spieth (12-1)
3. Matt Fitzpatrick (16-1)
4. Sam Burns (18-1)
5. Adam Hadwin (22-1)
5. Justin Rose (22-1)
Full Field: 2023 Valspar Championship
Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead) | Palm Harbor, FL | Mar 16-19, 2023
Carey Hoffman contributed to this report.
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images, Golf Advisor